News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists
SUNDAY, JULY 9, 2006

Steve Stewart

Guests must not outshine their hosts

M.J. Ellington tells about three ministers who were discussing the sermon that one was about to deliver as a guest preacher.

The expected topic followed the Lectionary, a common week-by-week guide used by Christian congregations around the world as a basis for Bible study and sermons. But the topic was a particularly grim and difficult passage from the book of Job.

"I always advise ministers that they do not have to follow the Lectionary," said one minister.

The pastor of a thriving congregation had another bit of advice about guest speakers: "I always advise mine not to be too good."

Out of the spirit

A church's voting to select the top 10 praise-band songs guaranteed that a band's fifth anniversary performance was an uplifting and enthusiastic affair.

From the back of the worship center, however, Eric Fleischauer heard evidence — audible over the electric guitars and drums — that not everyone was in the spirit.

A 5-year-old inhaled deeply, then bellowed, "Stop clapping! You're hurting my ears!"

Cutting-edge politics

A Democratic judge, grousing at perceived Republican shenanigans, pulled an analogy from his youth, Eric reports.

"When I was a boy, we would have a day when we would castrate the pigs. We didn't call it 'castration,' mind you. We called it 'something-or-other cutting time.' I'm telling you, the November election is something-or-other cutting time."

Why encourage them?

A tax abatement for 3M briefly seemed in jeopardy with the Decatur Industrial Development Board, Martin Burkey reports.

The company makes plastic films for hundreds of applications ranging from rainwear to electronic screens.

The company also makes the reflective strips used to line most road signs.

"Even those speed-limit signs?" asked Board Chairman Barrett C. Shelton Jr.

"I have nothing to do with the applications," 3M Plant Manager Rebecca Morlando quickly replied.

The board, including Barrett, soon approved the abatement for the company.

Those blessed bats

Matt Peters collects bat guano (droppings) from attics and bell towers of churches in the Amesville, Ohio, area. He sells it as fertilizer, according to The Associated Press.

Sue Zano sells some of it in a store — where, she says, customers "think it's cool because it came from a church. Those bats were sleeping through all that church singing and praying, and it's in their droppings."

Send stories for You Don't Say to, or call Weekend Editor Steve Stewart at 340-2444. Or write P.O. Box 2213, Decatur, AL 35609. DAILY staff members contribute many of the items you see here. This column appears Sundays and Wednesdays.

Steve Stewart Steve Stewart
DAILY Weekend Editor

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